Frankie Stewart Silver's Grave

Frankie Stewart Silver, the only woman ever hanged in Burke County, July 12, 1833. This may not         
have been true, but only legend. For sure  this was certainly the most talked about and referred to
hanging in Burke County and possibly in North Carolina. Mainly due to the circumstances of the murder of her
husband. According to records on October 10, 1788 Elisabeth Wells was hanged in Morganton. And a slave
named Betsey was hanged in 1813 for her part in the murder of her master, John McTaggart.

Brief Review of Murder:  On Dec. 22, 1831,  Frances Silver killed her husband Charles with an ax in their cabin in
Mitchell County, North Carolina. She chopped the body into pieces and burned some of it in the fireplace and parts
subsequently was found at various locations in and around the cabin.  On Jan. 10, 1832, his wife, Frances ("Frankie")
Stewart Silver, her mother Barbara Stewart, and brother Blackstone Stewart were taken to Morganton, N.C., and charged
with the crime.  Barbara and Blackstone Stewart were released on Jan. 17 due to insufficient evidence, but Frankie was
indicted by the grand jury in March 1832 and tried later that month.  She was convicted on April 2, and sentenced to be
hanged on July 27 of the same year. Documents were sent to the N.C. Supreme Court for appeal, but oral arguments
were not made on her behalf.  The verdict was upheld, and Frankie Stewart Silver was hanged in Morganton on July 12, 1833. 
Charlie Silver is buried behind the Old Kona Baptist Church in Mitchell County, N.C., in three separate graves. Frankie Silver
is buried about nine miles west of Morganton.

                                                                    Click picture to enlarge

Tombstone of Frankie Silver (Not Silvers)

Looking back after turning right onto private road.

As turning right onto private drive. Note the electric pole.

Notice electric pole on right, trail is in woods behind pole.

Katie leading the way. Close to gravesite on left.

Katie finds the grave. Likes to have her picture taken.

View of gravesite and tombstone.

Another view of gravesite.

Dewey and mother Carrie at Gravesite, summer of 2004.

Directions if the decide to go

From Morganton, take highway 126 toward Lakes James. You can turn onto Highway 126 at Freedom High School.
Drive app. 5.8 miles to Buckhorn Tavern Road. You will go by Table Rock Middle School on left, and you will pass
Grandview Baptist Church on right. Buckhorn Tavern Road will be about 3/4 mile on left past Grandview Baptist
Church, the first gravel road on left. Should be sign on left.

Go approximately 1.1 miles on Buckhorn Tavern Road, gravel all the way. You will pass several houses. At this 1.1 mile
there will be a road that you can turn to right. Private road, house will be left after you turn in and if followed it will end up
at a barn. Too Far. As you turn to the right into the private drive, note the electric pole on right. (See pictures above.)
Walk to the the pole and bear right into the woods to an old trail or logging road. Continue for about 10 or 15 minute 
walk and the gravesite will be on the left, a few feet off the trail. Be careful that you don't miss it. There  may still be a
ribbon or some rock marking the entrance to the gravesite. The gravesite will be up a small incline and about 30 feet
off trail.

You may want to park where you turn right onto private dirt road.

Remember this is private property and the grave is on private property, so please respect the land and property rights.


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